Major arbitration award winner announced

The winner of a major research essay prize relating to international arbitration has been announced by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Former University of Adelaide student Jerome Squires has become this year’s winner of a prestigious essay prize.

As part of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators commitment to global scholarship, students and lawyers of less than 5 years standing were invited to write an essay on whether or not international commercial courts represent a real challenge to international arbitration.

“This topic was prompted by the recent launch of a few international commercial courts including, most recently, the Singapore International Commercial Court in January this year,” Squires told Australasian Lawyer.
“My law degree briefly canvassed arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution but did not cover it in depth.

“I entered the competition in order to learn more about international arbitration and to gain an understanding of changes occurring in the broader field of international dispute resolution.”

Squires said that given the prominence of arbitration as the preferred method to settling transnational commercial disputes, he found it surprising that the topic isn’t a bigger focus for students.  And given that Australia is aiming to position itself as a major international arbitration centre, he said considering whether the creation of a national or international commercial court would be beneficial is worth considering.

“I feel very proud to have won the award,” Squires said.

“My paper was praised in front of five chief justices at CIArb Australia’s Centenary Celebrations Black Tie Gala Dinner, I doubt this will ever happen again with something I’ve written.”

Damian Sturzaker, head of the judging panel and CIArb Australia vice president said Squires’ application of economic theory of agglomeration to dispute resolution in his essay, was what caught the judges’ eye.

“He examined the rising fortunes and caseloads of both the London Commercial Court and the London Court of International Arbitration,” Sturzaker said of the winning paper.

“[He] concluded that by creating a dispute resolution cluster there is evidence that the caseloads for both litigation and arbitration will increase.” 

The paper will be published in the CIArb journal, The CIArb Australia News, Squires also received $1000 in prize money.

“I am very grateful to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia (‘CIArb Australia’) for organising and promoting the competition, thereby giving students and young lawyers the opportunity to think and write about arbitration.”

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